Tobold's Blog
Friday, February 23, 2007
Did the Burning Crusade change the tank ratio?

What do you get if you take a raid group and split it up into 5-man groups to do smaller instances? Not enough tanks. The 40-man raid groups usually had 4 to 5 tanks, so if you try to go to 5-man instances with the same 40 people, half the groups end up without a tank. I haven't done 25-man raids yet, but my guess would be that those only have 2 to 3 tanks, and thus exactly the same problem. Now assume that raiding guilds recruited members in proportion to the needs of the raid groups, and you can see why I'm regularly experiencing problems getting a tank for my groups.

The big question is whether the current tank shortage is just because everyone is in 5-man instances now, and soon everybody will move on to 25-man raid and the required tank ratio changes. Or did the Burning Crusade change that tank ratio permanently, by making the heroic 5-man instances, where you can get "raid gear" in small groups? Will people still visit 5-man instances regularly after they started raiding, and thus need more tanks than their guilds have recruited?

The question is most interesting to druids. At level 60 druids were expected to go healing spec, because most guilds had a shortage of healers. But the Burning Crusade gear made druids a lot better as tanks, and I've been conquering hard 5-man dungeons with a bear with 14k hitpoints as tank, which worked as good as a protection spec'd warrior. In fact, I did other dungeons with an arms/fury warrior, and the feral druid was clearly the better tank.

It must be difficult to decide on a talent tree for druids and warriors nowadays. Go tank and get flooded with invites to 5-man groups, but risk being superfluous in raids. Go for the better raid spec, and be stuck like everyone else in 4-man groups waiting for a tank. What do you think, does the Burning Crusade require a higher ratio of tanks than the old WoW?
On ArgentDawn-EU-Horde we have had a shortage of Tanks since TBC hit and people started 5man. I leveled up pretty fast and was among the highest level warrior-tanks and there was a flood of group invites. Could get 10-15 whispers an hour (even if I was inside an instance) with the general message "need tank for X, ready group, can summon now, please come".

Now I know since I an pretty wellknown on the server, having been MT for a pretty hard-core raidgroup for a long long time, that gives a certain amount of fame and I am sure I appear in many peoples friends list even if I can't remember them all.

But I have the opportinuty to pick-and-choose, can select where to go and when and there is no problem at all finding a decent group for anywhere. The same situation I guess healers had in the old end-game since people didnt do much 5man and we were sometimes waiting for a healer class.

Just yesterday as I logged in at 18:30, before my interface was fully loaded I had 3 whispers from ready groups to Shadow Labyrinth needing a tank. People kinda avoid that place as it is generally known to be harder than some of the other instances, but I need Aldor reputation so it fitted me well to go there. Then was the problem of picking the group, ended up asking one member in one to leave and give spot to a mage who needed Karazhan attunment.

My solo farming days are not there anymore, before I could spend a couple hours fishing for Stonescale eels for flasks for raid, but now if I even dare to start grinding motes of something I get a whisper almost begging me to go to instance with them.

This have also a negative side, since I don't generally like to disappoint people and having problems making up excuses to why I don't wanna help. I guess I just have to accept that if you are somewhat famous that happens.
It must be difficult to decide on a talent tree for druids and warriors nowadays. Go tank and get flooded with invites to 5-man groups, but risk being superfluous in raids. Go for the better raid spec, and be stuck like everyone else in 4-man groups waiting for a tank.

Well it's difficult for any hybrid class right now, even priests, since shadow spec became really viable for raids and groups. I think the respec system right now is still flawed. They should allow people to reset only one talent tree, for lower costs, maybe 10g fix. This would make respec way more usefull for situations where wour group has a tank and needs more dps, so you drop your "tank" tree and buff your dps tree.

What do you think, does the Burning Crusade require a higher ratio of tanks than the old WoW?

Content changed, and so does everything else around it. How many 5-man dungeons did you play in WoW 1.0? Dire Maul was added later, Blackrock, Scholo and Strat got changed so much, i didn't even remember which one originally was 5-man only, but i think only LRBS was. So you had one 5-man top level zone, two with Dire Maul added. Now we have more than a dozen with loots competitive to current raid stuff. So the demand for tanks increased very much and we're talking about real tanks here - overpowered druids excluded. At least for the 70s and heroics you will want a tank who dumped more than 14 points into his tank tree. In WoW 1.0 you had armies of offensive warriors who now became pretty uneffective, considering the demand for real defensive tanks. Even as a paladin, i get more calls from groups looking for a tank, than a healer. The lack of healer became the new lack of tanks at least for the time 5-mans are played.
I'm not sure the ratio changed all that much. Lots of the druids and paladins switched from resto/holy to feral/ret/prot, so I think that evened things out a bit.

I think a big factor in the current lack of tanks is that warriors pretty well suck right now, and many of us are focusing on alts or instancing only with our guilds. My roommate has a tank with a thunderfury being used as a bank alt, and while my warrior is 70, I'm more entertained by my mage and upcoming priest at the moment.
i think you mean 14K hitpoints?

but probably blizzard saw it coming with all the 5-man content they made - and thus decided to give some viability to druids and paladins (?) to tank
"but probably blizzard saw it coming with all the 5-man content they made - and thus decided to give some viability to druids and paladins (?) to tank "

Spot on I think. They have done something similar with priests as well. Shadowpriests now have access, and fairly easy access, to huge amounts of +healing gear. If a few guildies get together and kill Fel Reavers you can get a +227 healing staff.

We have a Druid who is reporting that tank abilities are getting pretty awesome.
i think you mean 14K hitpoints?

Yes. Corrected that typo.
On EQ, pure classes > hybrid classes but on WoW, it is the other way around. Your post has summed up the reason why there is a decline in tanks. Many people used to play warrior because they were essential before the expansion even though they suck at pvp unless they totally outgeared their opponents. But now that reason had been taken away from them. Druids and paladins could easily outgeared the warriors and they can heal and buff as well. R.I.P warriors.
I am the guy in the previous post, meant to say druids and paladins could easily *OUT TANK* the warriors not *OUTGEARED*.

On my server, tanks and priests have always been in short supply. Back in old LFG channel, all I used to see was 'LF tank and healer to Strat' etc. Things havent changed really, the only difference being that a lot more priests have gone Shadow spec, making it even harder to find a healbot for pugs.
Also, shadow priests are now taking party spaces normally occupied by Rogues/Mages/Warlocks.
Also, the previous need for healers is less acute as Paladins have joined Horde and Shamans Alliance... more healers, so the missing piece is now the Tank.
You have to think as well though the healer ratio. Us healers have lost more than a few members to dps/tanking specs and also more healers are required 1 and a half per group is almost necessary, admitadly yes we had more healers than tanks, but our guild seems to soak up all our healing power. Like someone said paladins will fix this somewhat and yes we have a fair few at 70 but to really make a difference server wide the belf population needs to level faster:)

Some one said earlier that because paladins and druids are becoming tanks the ratio required is about the same - the ratio iof warriors maybe but not tanks - to nit pick that was proof of the argument - more classes tanking and still more required, the ratio required has changed.

I suppose time will tell what will happen when 25 men raids hit but I suspect even then a guild needs to be a lot more modular that they have ever had to be.
I'm a 70 holy pally, through out leveling to 70 and doing a few end game runs I've always been very excited when I had a feral druid tank. This is because most warrior "tanks" are specced into arms and fury so that they can solo and level when not in dungeons. This is fine pre-bc, but post bc, 5-mans are much harder, with heroic options and challenging 5-man content, real tanks are needed.

Warriors are gimped hard when it comes to dps if they spec protection. This leads to warriors speccing arms or fury so they can kill mobs quicker. Even at end game a lot of warriors will stay arms or fury for pvp. This leads to feral druids...

Feral druids get the best of both worlds: One, bear form does decent dps. Two, if a feral druid is grinding mobs or pvp'ing they can always switch to cat form to crank the dps....and if they loose health, they just goto caster and heal.

Everytime a bear turns into a cat, its like a protection warrior running back to iron forge to respec.

Sadly, I've had protection spec warriors in my groups as well, they fair much better then the warrior who is going to duel wield the end boss, but they still seem to require much more healing then a feral druid. Feral druids seem to also have 2-3k more health then most warriors as well, more of a buffer incnase something goes wrong.

This is my perspective coming from a healing class. I have a 42 druid and 41 warrior, but I doubt that counts.
My Warrior friends get tells non-stop for instances even when they are already in a group with me.

My Holy spec Paladin gets equal amounts of tells asking if I'm holy or protection. I never used to get tells asking if I could tank before the expansion. Though I'm not sure if this means that the Burning Crusade requires more tanks or just that pallies can now tank with the better gear and talents.
Druid tanks have more health I understand because they don't have as much damage mitigation - I don't play either class so Im not sure. A lot of warriors do envy them their dps capability though
Ferals can't heal for jack. Seriously. A true feral can maybe get 1 or 2 heals off before needing the rest of their mana to shift back into bear or cat -- it's all very expensive and feral gear doesn't have any INT/SPI on it. So drop the "but teh feeralz can heel 2!" argument, most feral druids I know would trade it for a second for pots/bandages/last stand/shield wall/all the other crap that warrior tanks get. (For PvE content; PvP is a totally different story of course.)

And yes, warriors have noticably better mitigation than druids, especially to spell damage which druids can't do jack about except soak it.

And yeah, post-BC dungeons are vastly more difficult. You can see a big difference between freaking DPS class specs there; I'll absolutely crush a PvP-specced elemental mage with my arc/fire pve spec, for instance. It's not as noticable as with tanks and healers, but it's definitely there.
I've got a prot warr and I'm *not* famous and I probably still get 6-8 tells/hour asking to tank something. Unfortunately, the warr is only good for instance tanking -- if he's not tanking an instance he sucks. As a result I only play him about 1/3 of the time. The other 2/3rds I play my mage or rouge, they're a heck of a lot more versatile, and playing the mage or rouge gives me a break from receiving a tell every 5-10 minutes.

Personally, I also kinda feel like most druids can tank about as well as most of the warriors I've played with. I think it takes away some of the "specialness".. the feeling of playing a warr and *knowing* you're the more indestructible bad*** out there, which to my mind is really the "essence" of the warrior class.

Dunno, I guess my mage feels more like a "special snowflake" than my warrior.
I play a 70 druid. My guild was moving along in naxx before tbc and I have been each spec throughout the druids life. I know my class.

I hear a lot of how people say we are better tanks than Warriors. It's completely true that I am better than an arms/fury warrior but I still don't come near to being as good as a prot specced one.

Tanking isn't only about holding aggro (which with the higher dps makes our job a bit easier). Honestly, the damage mitigation a protection warrior offers isn't compensated for by a druids higher dodge rating and slightly higher HP, especially when it comes to bosses who do magic damage. I'm not sure what crazyfalnger above is saying about a druid requiring less healing, on some fights I can do enough healing on the main tanks in our guild in the 5-mans with rejuvination alone, and I'm feral specced. I on the other hand would be recieving flash heals left, right and centre trying to do the same thing.

I think a Warrior needs a look at though so they can hit that happy medium they had in wow 1.0 where 15 points in prot was adequate.
Adam, are you serious? 1-2 heals is all a feral druid can do before they need the rest to go back into bear your saying a feral druid at level 70 has about a 2k mana pool? My feral druid at lvl 42 has more then that. I can't believe blizzard is taking away int as a feral druid once you level past 42....

seriously tho my statement that feral druids can heal too was more like, when grinding and low on health they can heal to full and keep grinding.....Feral druids don't make excellent raid/5-man healers, but they can heal, which is a lot more then no heals at all.
Maybe it's a way to introduce druids more like something other than a healer. At least in european servers, people seem to think that if a certain class has a healing tree, they have to necessarily be healers.

Maybe it's due to the general shortage of healers (happened in most MMORPGs I played), but it is still annoying.

Mind you, I'm not one of those people who thinks healing is boring and thus bitches when she has to do it in instances. On the contrary, my main is a lvl 70 Healadin, that didn't even leave the holy tree to level because I enjoy doing that in instances and I've quite enjoyed solo healing all the way through instances like Mechanar (and finishing it with only 2 wipes). But I'm currently leveling a druid, who I want to keep feral for my own fun and variation purposes, but I just *know* I will have to be the main healer in all the instances I do with her. I'd like to dps in instances, but I've realized, through using the LFG system (while also leveling my hunter alt), that there's a shortage of healers (and tanks, yeah).

It's not that I don't think I should do anything else but DPS with the druid (as it would be silly as hell with it being *the most* hybrid class), but having to be a healer every single time I go to an instance is beyond annoying. ;)

I think Blizzard should work a bit on the 'requirements' for instances. When people are looking for groups, all you hear is that you NEED Priest, Mage and Tank, that makes only 2 slots available for the other 6 classes in the game... If they make it clear that you'll need other classes or even different specced people for certain instances, that would make the gameplaying experience a lot more enjoyable for everyone.

Sorry for the huge comment.

Sophia the Healadin (and her half dozen alts)
I almost never group outside of my guild, but I get about the same number of group offers as I did before BC.

And as for those who won't go into an instance with the trinity, they're just morons with no imagination or sense of adventure. With a little forethought and some knowledge about how to utilize your abilities, all sorts of group compositions can work. I've done instances with a group comprised of 4 warriors and a shaman, or one with 3 warlocks, or 3 shaman, etc etc.
i posted, but it didn't show up, test

I'm a 70 Holy spec'd Paladin. 61 PTS in holy tree. (all pts in holy) I'm a healadin. After running all the instances below Karazhan as the main healer, sometimes off healer, I decided one night that I wanted to try tanking. So I did, with one healer and sometimes 2. I've tanked everything up to and including Mechanar with 61pts in holy. Not only do we only need one person healing me, but we've cleared those instances faster with less wipes and better aggro control.

I'm just saying, perhaps people should start realizing that BC is different then what we're use to and should start experimenting with "different builds" and not assume that only "protection tanks" "feral Druids" and "protect paladins" are the only ones/specs out there to tank.

You didn't even mention Paladins in your piece Tobold. Which doesn't surprise me because I would have to make my own blog just to counter-act the ignorance in this one.

I got a 70 holy pally. I'm not quite as extreme as the post above me. I'm 40/0/21. This gets me the spell dmg boost and sactity aura. Needless to say I lay down the holy dps. I do a lot more dps now then when I was specced 20/0/41. I have about +500 spell damage.

I probably require a lot more healing then a prot pally/warrior/feral druid, but I hold aggro like a damn champ. Nothing gets away from me, and all the adds get concentrated for close to 200 per tick.

I don't get to tank a lot because no one trusts me as a tank, except guildies. If I ask to tank I get the "You're holy? gtfo!" They will let a duel wielding fury warrior tank before me, and I actually had that happen...stupid pugs. I ended up fighting for aggro with the tank just to teach the group a lesson, and its a good thing I did because that tank had about 5k health and would of died way quicker then me.

Its really fustrating sometimes when there is one spot left in a group for a tank and I can't get an invite. If the tables were turned I'd take me just to start the run, who wants to sit around and wait? If I didn't work out....then I'd kick myself...

Just to any naysayers out there, holy pallys hold aggro like nobody's buisness, we just need a few more heals thx to mounds of +dmg gear....we also do good dps while we tank too.
To the clueless anonymous smartass who can't figure the posting system out:

Tobold likely didn't mention Pally's tanking because he plays Horde and the odds of getting one in a group is slim to none.

Go and make your blog, would love to see you put your money where your mouth is :)
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